Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Parham v. The State, A17A1663
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (9/8/2017, 9/29/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The Court affirmed defendant's convictions and sentences for two counts of theft by deception, finding that the trial court was authorized to sentence defendant under the general recidivist statute, O.C.G.A. § 17-10-7 subsection (a) and subsection (c), rather than solely under the more specific recidivist provision applicable to theft-by-deception convictions, based on defendant's prior felony convictions. 
Mallery v. The State, A17A1048
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (9/8/2017, 9/29/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
Defendant failed to carry his burden of proving that the trial court erred in denying his motion for a new trial on ineffective assistance of counsel grounds and the Court, therefore, affirmed his convictions for armed robbery and aggravated assault. 
Smith v. The State, A17A1252
Georgia Court of Appeals, Criminal Case (9/7/2017, 9/29/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The trial court erred in refusing to give defendant's requested jury charge on the lesser included offense of vehicular homicide in the second degree in his trial for vehicular homicide in the first degree so the Court reversed his conviction and remanded for a new trial. 
Scott v. The State, S17A0721
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (9/13/2017, 9/29/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
Although the evidence supported defendant's convictions for felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm in commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the Court vacated his sentence and remanded for resentencing based on a merger error. 
Hobbs v. Winfield, Admrx. et al., S17A0720
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (9/13/2017, 9/28/2017)
TRUSTS AND ESTATES:
The probate court did not err in finding the testator's will was not made in contemplation of future children and was thus invalidated by the birth of children after the execution of the will. 
100 Lakeside Trail Trust et al. v. Bank Of America, N.A., A17A1735
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (9/8/2017, 9/28/2017)
BANKING:
The trial court properly granted bank's claim for equitable reformation of a security deed based on mutual mistake, granted bank's motion for summary judgment and denied defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment. 
Crawford et al. v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, A17A1590
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (9/8/2017, 9/28/2017)
CIVIL PRACTICE:
The trial court properly dismissed plaintiffs' petition for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction seeking to stop the foreclosure of their home after concluding that the petition was moot because the injunctive relief they requested could no longer be granted. 
Smith et al. v. Braswell et al., A17A1191
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (9/7/2017, 9/28/2017)
EXPERT WITNESSES:
The trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding plaintiff's expert's testimony after concluding that the preponderance of the evidence weighed against the admissibility of the expert's theory of causation; plaintiff thus failed to show causation and the trial court properly granted defendant's motion for summary judgment in plaintiff's negligence action arising from the labor and delivery of her son. 
Autozone, Inc. et al. v. Mesa, A17A1294
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (9/8/2017, 9/27/2017)
WORKERS COMPENSATION:
The superior court exceeded its authority when it substituted itself as the factfinder in lieu of an administrative law judge and the State Board of Workers' Compensation and reversed the Board's ruling, which denied certain benefits to the claimant. 
Cash et al. v. LG Electronics, Inc. et al., A17A0878
Georgia Court of Appeals, Civil Case (9/8/2017, 9/27/2017)
EXPERT WITNESSES:
The trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding plaintiff's expert's testimony after concluding that the expert's methodology was unreliable under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U. S. 579 (1993), as the analytical gap between the data and the expert's opinion was too remote, and consequently, the trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to defendant based on the absence of any evidence of causation.
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